PANICKED shoppers fled for their lives as armed police arrested a man carrying a knife amid reports of an explosion at the store on Halesowen Street, in Rowley
Terrified shoppers were told to “get out and run” from the Sainsbury’s supermarket as cops swooped on the knifeman at around noon today.
Row of ambulances were pictured in the car park of a nearby Toys R Us, but nobody was injured during the incident.
There are also unconfirmed reports of an explosion at the store on Halesowen Street, in Rowley.
The store has been cordoned off and surrounding roads closed while officers carry out investigations.
The incident comes as anxieties remain high following the horrific Manchester bomb attack that killed 22 people on Monday night.
LOCKDOWN: Shoppers were evacuated from the store at around 12pm today
In a statement West Midlands Police said: “Officers were called to Sainsbury’s in Blackheath at around 12:10pm to reports of a man with a knife.
“An area search was conducted and a man was detained by officers.
“The store has been evacuated and the following roads have been closed, Halesowen Street, John Street and Union Street.
“No injuries have been reported to us.
“Drivers are advised to avoid the area at this time.”
One eyewitness, who did not wish to be named, said: “Apparently someone who was in Sainsburys said there was smoke and then the armed police and police dogs were there.
“Someone has been arrested on New John Street.”
The store was cordoned off and surrounding roads closed while officers carried out investigations.
In a statement West Midlands Police said: “A man has been arrested after a fire was set in toilets at Sainsbury in Blackheath around midday today.
Armed officers responded after the man was seen running from the store in possession of a knife. He was located and arrested nearby.
The store was evacuated and road closures were put in place while forensic investigators conducted enquiries.
Force Incident Manager, Chief Inspector Paul Minor said: “The store remains closed while we examine the scene and assess the cause of the fire.
“The man in custody and his motives remain unclear however, we do not believe this to be related to any terror threat.”